Common-Authority Rule Law and Legal Definition

Common-authority rule refers to a legal principle that permits a person to give consent to a law officer for the purpose of searching another person’s property. The common-authority rule provides for searches without warrant. The principle can be applied only when both parties have access or control to the same property. In State v. Carter, 485 So. 2d 260 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1986), the Supreme Court identified two bases for the application of common-authority rule :

1.A party gives consent to permit a search in his/her own right; and

2. A party gives consent on the assumption that a co-occupant might permit a search.